More than a few years in the making, 'Wanderings' is Minstral's provocative debut CD. Blending sounds of the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Ben Harper, and perhaps even a touch of Radiohead, this is truly a collection of quality songs, well positioned to stand the test of time. 'When we began this project', notes singer/songwriter Adam Gault, 'we thought it would be cool to kind of -pay homage- to all that travel brings out. Incorporating the sights, the sounds, thrills, disappointments... basically everything that being on the road throws at you.' Interesting thing however about this album, Minstral doesn't stop at the obvious; songs like 'Lost In Lhasa' undoubtedly paint a picture of a remote land with unique challenges, yet listen to the playful 'Bound To Come', the hopeful 'Head Down', or the frightened detachment of 'Fallen Comrade and you realize Gault's songwriting, doesn't set boundaries. Living in Taiwan has also certainly added somewhat more color to this refreshing release. Writer/reviewer Tim Pennington of Fresh Trax Magazine admits wryly; 'We can't remember the last time we listened to a basically -western rock album-, that then goes on to do the songs in Chinese as well! It was a bit of a freak out.' Both American born Gault and British born producer/multi-instrumentalist Simon Whitfield, spent years living and traveling outside their native countries. Taiwan's dynamic lifestyle and fertile artistic landscape thus struck a chord with the two erstwhile backpackers. 'Settling in a small, laid back, sub-tropical island was just a natural progression', says Whifield. 'It was always the music that kept bringing us back here, and now a lot of that has culminated with this CD.' Gault adds 'For our part, this has been a labor of love. It was so, so important to us to make a record that would really be about quality. Of course I love the songs, but I think Shauna (designer/illustrator Shauna Chen) did such an amazing job on the whole package, I'm equally as excited for people to see 'Wanderings' as I am for them to hear it!' For anyone that feels they haven't heard anything refreshing or original for a long time, I would -strongly- recommend giving this CD a serious listen. Again, undoubtedly an album for the ages... one that is assured to be on people's playlists for many years to come. J. Van Ess, Venice Music Express Sept, 2005.